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Buffalo man facing felony charges following crash that killed 10-year-old boy

mikey conklin.jpg
Posted at 8:26 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 17:28:56-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A 37-year-old Buffalo man is facing two felony charges, one count of leaving the scene of an incident resulting in death and one count of criminally negligent homicide following a crash that killed a 10-year-old boy on Wednesday, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

37-year-old Kevin Mendola was arraigned Friday in Cheektowaga Town Court and is being held on $50,000 bail. His attorney requested his release as he lives with his parents and has a brain injury, the request was denied. He will be back in court Tuesday for a felony hearing.

The family spoke to 7 Eyewitness News Friday and identified the 10-year-old boy who was killed as Mikey Conklin.

The district attorney's office detailed what allegedly occurred during the incident in a press conference Friday.

According to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, Mendola was at Griffith Park with his girlfriend and her son, the son allegedly told them he was shot in the face with a BB gun by two girls. Mendola allegedly went to find the girls and when he located them in the area he allegedly confronted them.

"When they found the two girls, he confronted the two girls and a crowd started to circulate and gather around, including apparently one of the parents of the girls and everyone was very apologetic. The girls were apologetic, the parents were apologetic, for you know the BB gun incident, everyone was apologetic it was no problems at all," Flynn said.

Due to the gathered crowd, a line of traffic formed, Mendola then allegedly attempted to move his truck and get out of the way of traffic. Flynn said when Mendola went to move he allegedly put his truck in reverse, hit Conklin who was standing near his bike, then pulled forward and hit him again. Mendola then allegedly exited his vehicle and found that he hit Conklin and attempted to assist him but then allegedly got back in his truck and left the scene.

The district attorney said Mendola was apprehended by Cheektowaga police about a mile away.

Conklin was transported to Oishei Children's Hospital in serious condition and later died from his injuries. A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Lancaster.

"I want Buffalo to hold your children tight," Mikey's brother Dale Hanson said, "and I pray that nothing like this ever happens again."

Mendola faces a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted of all charges, according to the district attorney's office.

Flynn said the investigation is ongoing and they are looking for statements, pictures and videos from any witnesses. Anyone with information can contact Cheektowaga police at (716) 686-3580.

You can watch the full press conference below.